08 December, 2007

Ebola Outbreak - Handshake Scare !

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on Friday advised Ugandans to desist from handshakes,embraces,long greetings and other methods of close contact through which the virulent Ebola strain virus could be spread.

The death of 23 suspected ebola cases including four medics and infection of over 104 individuals according to Ugandan Health Ministry spokesman Mr. Paul Kabwa has certainly sent the East African countries in a panic -scare mode.The Democratic Republic of Congo has closed its borders with Uganda due to the high reported ebola incidences in Bundibugyo district which borders the country.On the other hand Kenya and Rwanda are screening all visitors entering their countries from Uganda(there is a high probbilty that even those screening the people are ill equiped and trained thereby exposing themselves to the risk of infection).Kenya is especially apprehensive since 2 fishermen died in Masaka ,another two people in Kampala and one in Mbale,area's which closely border the country.Futhermore there are individuals under observation in nearby Kasese in Uganda.

The question however which still crops up is are our medical personnel in Busia District border point sufficiently trained and endowed to detect ,prevent the spread,quarantine and control the spread of the disease ? The Atlanta Based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) has setup a lab in conjunction with the Ugandan Government inorder to moniter and control the spread of the disease in Uganda and it is highly expected that any person infected in Kenya will be transfered to Kenyatta National Hospital which is one of the few hospitals in the region that can efectively handle Ebola cases.

Being an election year Kenya definitely does not need a Health crisis adding up to the Mount Elgon and Kuresoi skirmishes which are giving the incumbent President a campaign scare.More so coming hot on the heals after the former Health Minister Hon.Charity Ngilu defected to the Raila led ODM opposition camp.The Incumbent Health minister Hon.Paul Sang is hardly over a month in the seat and must be primarily concerned about his re-election bid especially coming from a predominantly opposition zone.

On the other hand due to the tenacity,ferrociousness and virulent nature of the Ebola virus,the disease normally kills its victims fast enough such as to prevent further spread;what can possibly be called the "burn out effect ! ".We in the region hope that the disease subsides soon and does not turn out to be an epidemic.Otherwise we might just end up with handshakes ,kisses,embraces outlawed!


  1. hi! i m here again...i read bout this too...it's scary...oh ya..wat course you were taking?? haha...i would like to knw~



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